Monday, July 28, 2008

Heartsong Presents Cozy Mystery Theater!

The Case: Late one evening, Lord Flauntit is in his study watching television. He rings a little bell and Jasper, his butler, enters the room. The master and servant have a brief conversation, at the end of which Jasper gives his notice.

At midnight, a fire breaks out at Flauntit Hall. When the firefighters arrive, they find Jasper’s body spread-eagle on the gravel driveway. He is quite dead. The firefighters assume that in his panic to escape the fire, Jasper junped out of the his third story bedroom window and broke his neck in the fall.

The firefighters easily put out the small blasé and then call the constable. The entire county is shocked when respectable Lord Flauntit is later arreseted for arson and murder.

The Mystery: Why did Lord Flauntit kill Jasper and set the fire?

The Clues: It was Jasper’s lucky day. . .and unlucky day! In case of fire, find your most valuable possession. Jasper was a numbers man.

The Answer? Think you know the answer? Submit a comment with your guess. Winner receives a free copy of one of Heartsong Presents Mysteries!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Heartsong Presents Cozy Mystery Theater!

The Case: Union Camp has always been a peaceful town, with not crime other than the occasional stolen library book. But recently, strange things have been happening. Last week, the town clerk’s office was broken into. Two days ago, a dog was shot and killed for no apparent reason. And today Jim, the local mail carrier , was attacked with a baseball bat and wound up in the hospital with 20 stitches.

“We got us a regular crime wave,” the neighbors complained. “What’s going on here?”

The Mystery: What is going on in Union Camp?

The Clues: The murdered dog belonged to the mail carrier. Unknowingly, Jim was hiding something that someone wanted. Something was found in the library that led to the clerk’s office, that led to Jim.

The Answer? Think you know the answer? Submit a comment with your guess. Winner receives a free copy of one of Heartsong Presents Mysteries!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Mysterious Trip

How did it happen? My darling protagonist Ruth Budge and I have reached a strange and mysterious place. One day we’re easing into adult life and then bam! Out of nowhere…middle age. I ignored the signs for a while, the wrinkles, the gray hairs, the odd bulge here or there. Since my monolithic 40th birthday, and completion of Ruth’s adventures in Finny, I can no longer disregard the plain truth. I’ve made it my mid-life mission to compile a handy list of the top three signs of middle age, a sort of roadmap for those accompanying me down that crooked highway.

Sign Number One: Parts of my body are not where I left them two decades ago. Gravity is not my friend, I’ve decided. It seems to be doing its able best to pull all manner of areas in the southernly direction. Other parts require much more time and assistance than they did in my twenties. Getting up off the floor for instance, necessitates several people and a winch. And what is that sound that comes out of my mouth when I bend over? Ruth has the same trouble, but she puts me to shame. She manages to chase her flock of disabled seagulls, keep up with her new husband’s catering business and even solve a murder in her latest book, Fog Under Finny’s Nose. If she can forge ahead, I guess I can too.

Sign number Two: I’ve become technology road kill on the great cyber highway. When I turned forty, the world exploded with microchips and gigawatt thingamagiggys. I got a new phone that came equipped with all kinds of functions from text messaging to navigating the Mars explorer. For some reason, my middle aged brain has reached capacity and I am unable to figure out anything technology related. Ruth, like me, still appreciates the power of a good handwritten document. As a matter of fact, just such gem, handwritten by a stalwart restaurateur in 1920, proves to be a clue that unlocks a decades old mystery. How’s that for the power of the pen?

Sign Number Three: Time moves faster now. The days on my calendar fly by so
quickly, I sometimes can’t remember what I packed into all of them. Gone are my girls’ jack o’lantern grins with missing teeth and the box of tiny ballet slippers marks an age that seems so long ago and yet remains so recent in my memory. Gone too are the times of reading books on Mommy’s lap and playing in the mud on a warm spring morning. I can’t remember when my kisses stopped being magic for boo boos, or when the girls got too big for flying high on the swing set, looking as if they could touch the sun.

Could it be only a few short weeks until Finny #2, Fog Under Finny’s Nose releases? And how is it possible that book three, Treasure Under Finny’s Nose is complete? I will certainly miss Ruth and her crazy town filled with colorful characters and plenty of villainy. Maybe we will meet again sometime. I suppose the miles we’ve traveled together helped me to appreciate this amazing God given journey, to taste the sweetness of the days, like hidden fruit left on the tree to soak up the sun for a while longer. I will count myself blessed to savor my life in the middle, and the wonderful company I’ve enjoyed along the way.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Cozy up with Eileen Key

My cozy mystery book, Dog Gone, revolves around a series of missing pedigreed dogs. The first dog disappears from the Pampered Pooch Kennel and Day Spa in Trennan, Tennessee, owned by Ginnie, Belle Blevins’ best friend. Belle is extremely worried, because the kennel sits on land she owns. And taxes are due on that land. When other dogs vanish, Belle begins tracking clues and praying the Lord will get her out of one more jam.

I’ve read and enjoyed the mystery genre since the days of Trixie Belden and Cherry Ames(ummm, aging myself there!). When the opportunity to write a mystery arose, I decided to try it—and a love affair was born. I’d written a number of other manuscripts, but Dog Gone was the first to sell. Barbour took a chance on an unknown fiction writer, and for that, I’m truly grateful.

The journey to publication began in earnest seven years ago. I wrote numerous unpaid articles and devotionals for an online magazine. My first sale was a series of prayers in Prayers and Promises: Armed Forces published by Barbour in 2004. What a blessing for the Lord to have me write words to Him that might be read by someone in uniform. In the next few years, I was published with God Allows U-Turns, Soul Matters, God’s Way and other anthologies. In the meantime, I pegged away at the fiction craft, learning and practicing and hoping and dreaming.

One rainy, dreary Thursday, in July 2006, my daughter Rachel took me to eat lunch. We were about to climb out of her truck in the parking lot when my cell rang. It was Tamela Hancock Murray—agent extraordinaire—with “The Call.” Susan Downs wanted my manuscript. I cried! God allowed a desire of my heart to be fulfilled in an unbelievable manner. He is so faithful!

Our new mystery line from Heartsong Presents is fun and filled with unusual characters and unique storylines. Can’t wait for my next set of books to arrive in the mail. I hope yours comes soon, too. This fall it will contain Dog Gone. Please let me know what you think!
To learn more about Eileen visit